Take a small town in southern Alabama, and a young lady, just slightly out of step. Add gnarly family trees, entrenched traditions, and everyone living with skeletons in their closets - welcome to Gallagher. There one will find an extraordinary cast of insane characters. And, it could only happen in the South.
Oysters at Bowen's Island, it just doesn't get much better than that. Last night we made our way out to the beach for dinner. As we drove up to Bowen's Island it was clear that things had changed - modernized, so to speak. This was not good. There are some things in life that don't need fix'n and this was one of them.
The screen house where we had placed our orders (to be recorded on notebook paper) for years was abandoned. And, although the parking lot was full, the deck was empty. An ominous sign had a large blue arrow pointed to the left and said "Stairs". Our youngest daughter, who was with us, (and had never been there before) was mildly appalled at the thought that we were lamenting over a tattered screen house and an old covered deck.
There was a new three story building that we had noticed being built the last time we were out there. The sign led the way to a stairwell up the side of this building. This was not good. Entering the large room on the top floor, the first thing I noticed was that the chairs all matched - that wasn't right. For years we were seated at tables with an unimaginable array of chairs, with a good chance no two at any table matched. And, horrors there was a computer sitting on the bar. Surely it was all over now but the crying. Now, our youngest daughter was surely questioning our sanity at our sadness over matching chairs.
As I walked up to the bar, following the sign that read "Place Order Here", I was heartened to see the menu had not changed (still a single sheet of white paper enclosed in a plastic sheet protector) and when the gentleman took my order, he wrote it down on a sheet of notebook paper. (There is a God.) We walked out on the deck to an amazing sunset view of the marsh. Looking at the barrels labeled "oyster shells only" and seeing the friendly graffiti already starting to cover the wooden siding, it was clear that the "old" was settling into the "new".
Then our food came. And, if I closed my eyes I would have never known I wasn't sitting on the old deck just past the old screen house, because the oysters were cooked just right. Maybe a little change is OK, as long as you know what you're doing and what not to mess with. And, they did.